Interactive Prototype #1

Assignment #4: Interactive Prototype 1

Assigned: March 3rd, 2009
Due: March 16th, 2009 at 11:59 PM

Objective: In this assignment, you will test your low-fidelity prototype(s) and use the results to inform the design of the first interactive prototype for your final project.

What to do:

1) Select the low-fidelity prototype(s) that you would like to start with. The prototype(s) should support walking through at least three of the tasks described in your scenarios.

2) Each member of the design team should evaluate the low-fidelity interface with regard to the design heuristics we have learned in class (see lectures 5, 7, and 9 for details). These evaluations should be done independently of one another, making sure to take detailed notes of your observations.

3) Select one other person to "test" your low-fidelity prototype. Ideally this would be someone from your proposed user group, or at least someone not from the design team (for example, another member of the class).

4) Ask the test user to step through at least three of the tasks outlined in your scenarios using the low-fidelity prototype. Utilize the "Think-Aloud" protocol described in class (see lecture 8). Once again, take detailed notes of the pilot user's observations.

5) Schedule a design team meeting to integrate your observations and the observations from your initial user study. The output of this should be a set of revisions / suggestions / design directions to be implemented in your first interactive prototype. Make sure to note the source of each of these revisions / suggestions / directions, whether they came from one or several of the heuristic evaluations conducted by the design team members, from your initial user study, or emerged during the brainstorming.

6) Use this meeting to also brainstorm the design of your first interactive prototype, and the platform you will use to implement it (some examples include Powerpoint, Excel, HTML, Flash, VB, Java, etc.). Given the short deadline, choose a platform in which at least one (and preferably more) of the design team members is already comfortable programming / designing.

7) Implement the interactive prototype. Once again, the prototype should be sufficient to at least "walk through" three of the tasks that you have included in your final project proposal. Utilizing wizard-of-oz techniques is fine, and recommended when you have not implemented some of the underlying functionality.

8) In class on March 17th, be ready for your interactive prototype to be tested by another class member. This includes providing enough guidance, documentation and/or supporting material so that the user can understand the intent and operation of the prototype.

What to turn in:

The preferred method of turn-in is to create a page for your submission on the course Wiki, linked from your final project page. To avoid a late penalty, e-mail a link to your group's project page to the professor and TA before 11:59 PM on Monday, March 16th. Create a dedicated page for your submission, including each of the following components:

1) Cover sheet including yourself and your partners' names, and your chosen focus. Note the time, duration and attendance of each brainstorming session. Include a paragraph about what each person contributed to the assignment [1 page].

2) If your revised and/or developed new lo-fi prototypes, please provide new pictures. These pictures should include enough detail and supporting text so that we can understand how the eventual system is intended to work [2-3 pages].

3) The final integrated list of your revisions / suggestions / design directions. Make sure to indicate the original source of each of them, whether they came from one or several of the heuristic evaluations conducted by the design team members, from your initial user study, or emerged during the brainstorming [1-3 pages].

4) Provide a link to your first interactive prototype, as well as directions of how to install and/or run it. Include description of any wizard-of-oz techniques. Supplement with screen shots if required [1-2 pages].

5) Describe the tools you used to develop your prototype, how they helped and/or created additional obstacles [1/2 page].

6) Be ready with supporting material and your interactive prototype to be tested in class on March 17th.

The total length of your report should be less than 6 pages (not including any revised lo-fi prototype pictures). Brevity, clarity and focus on the goals of the assignment will be rewarded.

Please contact the professor or the class TA using the course mailing list if you have any questions with this assignment.